There are times when, no matter how much you try to avoid a dangerous place of situation, you will ultimately still find yourself in one. Robbery is a violent crime where a criminal, or group of them, are prepared to use force to get your property. With the rise of incidences of people becoming addicted to new and highly addictive types of drugs, there is more motivation for a determined robber now than ever before.
The single most important thing in avoiding becoming a victim of robbery yourself is to develop a mindset which is set by two guiding principles: awareness and avoidance.
Try going around for the next few days, thinking like a would-be robber. Try to look for all of the easy potential victims out there, who walk around as if in their own little world, totally detached from the living world around them. If a robber came upon them immediately and forcefully, it is likely that the surprise alone would overwhelm their nervous system. By the time they realize what is happening, it is too late. Simply put, the time to be ready for what is happening, is before it happens.
How To Avoid Becoming a Victim of Mugging
The following is a list of useful tips which can provide you with an idea of just how comprehensive a list of things to be aware of one needs to create a mindset of awareness and avoidance:
If I see a bunch of suspicious persons, should I walk past them? In most cases, this is exactly what you should avoid. Most of the individuals today charged with robberies, are typically motivated mainly by drugs. Think that only having twenty dollars in your pocket wouldn’t interest them? Think again, it could get them high for a day, and hurting you likely means nothing to them.
The worst possible situation anyone can find themselves in is to be surrounded by a gang of younger, more physically capable desperate people. Even a bunch of youths as young as 13 gathered around you can be a potentially lethal situation. If they get you on the ground it could likely will be.
The best thing to do is to use a long range, side-to-side, scanning eye motion sweeping the street for any potential danger, and develop this as a habit. If you see a gathering of young people who look intimidating (ie., wearing gang apparel, etc.), move in the other direction.
What if a bunch of suspicious persons are following me? If you are being followed, the best thing is to do the obvious — move to a location where there are people. If you have a cell phone, use it to call police. If you can get to a shop or a business, do it, as these places have security cameras which can be a deterrent. If you for some reason do not call the police, call some friends to come and pick you up, or call a cab to high tail it out of there. If you go from being followed to being chased, then start yelling at the top of your lungs: FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! Most people will likely pay more attention to that than to cries for help.
What if someone is getting too close, and they don’t look too friendly? Never allow anyone within an arms reach of you. There is no lawful reason for them to be there, and, if they approach you too fast, they are bringing the likelihood of reasonable force being used to stop them, on themselves. The law does give you the right to use reasonable force to protect your physical safety, and if you believe that you are in immediate, clear and present jeopardy, then force can be justifiable.
Should I avoid certain areas? Absolutely. If you must go to a crime ridden neighborhood on business, go with someone else, take a cell phone with you, and tell others where you are going and when you will be back. There are areas in any city that are best left alone. In general, avoid dark, poorly lit areas, avoid parking your car in the furthest away parking spots from other cars. Always stick to where there are lights, noise, people, and open businesses.
Someone asks me for the time, or some change… A common ploy of the mugger is distraction. Often they will work in pairs, with one asking the mark for the time,and then another approaches them from the blindside. The best advice is to train yourself to coldly look away and be aware of what and who is immediately around you. IF they try to start a verbal confrontation with you, avoid this too, as quite often they will just use conversation or arguments to try to size you up. It goes without saying too that it is best to avoid panhandlers, although most people do this instinctively enough.